Is Instrumental Music Dying Out?

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Colmc54 | 00:50 Sun 07th Jun 2015 | Arts & Literature
6 Answers
I have been watching the Jules Holland Show for years. Lately I have come to the conclusion that in the perception of the global population of this planet, namely the people who are targeted by one of the most exploitative mercenary industries in history- the music industry, that there is no such thing as music unless someone is singing it.

I listened to Jules's latest series with growing despair. Then I heard a beautiful coda to a piece by Florence an the Machines. Strangely as the musicians who were performing it were playing beautifully the camera chose not them but a prolonged languid upward gesture of Florence's hand bedecked with some product placement bling no doubt.

In the seventies through progressive rock a broad spectrum of instrumental and electronic music became popular with young people all over the world. In the UK John Peel and other colleagues of his at Radio One promoted it.

Now nothing. If someone isn't singing the popular music industry doesn't want to know. It is hard to learn to play a musical instrument really well. So would you spend years takes years only to find your only claim to fame was no more than being the backing group of a famous singer? Why bother?

I was driving to work listening to Radio 4's Today programme on the day BB King's death was announced. All the BBC allowed us to hear was him singing!

I am now seriously worried that in the mass-marketing of music there is a momentum building towards the abolition of and kind of popular music that is instrumental.

Someone told me he played a Pink Floyd extended instrumental to his teenage son. A few minutes in, in the absence of a vocalist he asked his dad when the music was going to start!


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1976 and this was a hit. No vocals, just a brilliant musician with a story to tell.
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Question Author
For you, so it would seem.
There is always classical and jazz
There's quite a lot of instrumental dance music.
Question Author
Yes I agree with you both. I love good vocal music. But yet I think that good instrumentalists should be given the same status.

I guess that I'm worried that the next generation will be unable to play the music we have enjoyed for so long because even when the goddesses of vocal performance are doing their best, it is only in the context of the underlying musical arrangements played by highly skilled musicians that the scene is set for them to win our money.

Once the singers have left the building and the musicians strike up for themselves, believe me, because you have no opportunity to find this out for yourselves in the current sad state of the populist music industry, you might actually get to hear the full spectrum of what the timeless Homo sapiens music is/was all about.

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